Thursday, July 12, 2007

e Really Digs Harry Potter 5 - the movie

(If you have not read HP5, then skip this post as I refer to major plot points and happenings and you will be spoiled)

Harry Potter fans, rejoice! All of those movies reviews you've been reading that claim Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is slow, boring, or just so-so, are WRONG! I saw it last night and was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, since the 5th book was my least favorite of the series thus far. I remember struggling to finish it on the way back from my honeymoon, cramped in my seat, annoying everyone else who was suffering through one of the longest flights in the world (not kidding: South Africa to New York) by keeping my reading light on, and thinking, "Harry is annoying the crap out of me in this one! This book is kind of poop?!?!"

Therefore, I had extremely low expectations for the film version. I had heard that they cut out many scenes, including the prominent "Ron playing on the Quidditch team" subplot (fine by me, that stuff always bored me), but upon reading a recap of the book, I now realize that they deleted much more than that. What was left of the story were the essentials, and even that clocked in at over two hours on the screen. As I was captivated from the beginning to the end of the movie, I think they did a marvelous job.

Three random, nerdy observations:

1) I realized that Hagrid's hound, Fang, despite being a different color, looked a heck of a lot like the bizarro dog in the painting in Jacob's cabin on Lost. That would be the ultimate cross-over!!

2) In the scene where Sirius dies, Harry is held back by Lupin and everything goes silent and slo-mo, and I couldn't help but think of the scene where Frodo and the hobbits all freak out after Gandalf falls to his apparent death after his battle with the Balrog. Yes, this IS how my mind works!

3) Similarly, in the scene where Voldemort (he doesn't scare me, I'll say his name!) and Dumbledore are having their Ultimate Wizard Duel, it reminded me of Gandalf and Saruman's wicked-awesome battle in Fellowship of the Ring.

So much nerdiness, I'm about to explode! I love wizards! I am quite sure that in a past life I was somehow connected to Merlin himself.

Anyway, back to HPATOOTP - other high points included Luna Lovegood - the actress who plays her is just spot on - great job, casting peeps! Helena Bonham Carter as Bellatrix Lestrange was also a perfect choice - and while she wasn't in the movie for very long - she kicked butt in the few minutes she was on screen. I think Bellatrix is the 80s-era-Cyndi Lauper's long-lost cousin with that funky hair and awful outfit. On to Snape... who, as always, rocked the house with his drole one-liners and his obvious disdain for Harry. And speaking of Harry - good God, is he a cutie?!? If loving Harry is wrong, I don't want to be right!!

Low points included Cho - the recipient of Harry's first kiss. She was pretty lame (or perhaps I'm just jealous). Hagrid's half-brother, the giant Grawp, looked plastic and fake... surprising for a movie series that so far has had excellent, realistic effects. Another negative about the movie was that no one character, besides Harry, was in it for very long. This was a very Henry-centric movie and at the end I realized that I missed having my fill of Dumbledore, Hagrid, Snape, and even Malfoy?!?!

And I can't talk about the movie without mentioning Delores Umbridge, the ultra-evil new professor/representative of the Ministry of Magic, played expertly by Imelda Staunton. Soooo creepy and nasty - she did a top-notch job and made me hate her character just like I did when I read the book. The scene where Harry has to write lines that are then burned into his skin made me want to jump through the screen and bust out a Tae-Bo roundhouse kick to her head!

So definitely go see this movie... if you haven't read the book then you may be a little lost, but it really held my attention and everyone I've talked to who has seen it agreed that they didn't understand why it was getting mixed reviews.

Just one more week til the midnight party for book seven?!?!? Yeah, you know I will be there with all the kiddies - I just got an email from Borders saying that they're giving out free wands!!! YESSSSS!

- e


Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for your review! I saw a sneak preview on Monday and have to agree with you. I don't know what these other critics are talking about. It was awesome! All of us that saw it Monday agreed it was definitely one of our favorites of the movies (and like you, and not been our favorite of the books). Can't wait for Deathly Hollows next week!

Anonymous said...

Hi e, totally agree with your review although it has got pretty good reviews here (its because of the british thing, all english cast blah blah blah!!)I love Harry Potter and have been to the midnight thing for the last 3 books, and since we are ahead of you if you want I can tell you what happens so you dont get any nasty shocks! only kidding but I know my whole Saturday will be spent reading and then discussing it on the Internet! Keep smilin'

Anonymous said...

Oh Nerdy E - I agree with the above comments, though, I must say you are COMPLETELY CRAZE for the reference b/w Fang and the Lost dog - sometimes your mind scares me! :)